Confessions of a Queenstown Dad | June 2021

Confessions of a Queenstown Dad | June 2021 1394 1396 The Flyer Magazine

Since arriving to live in this town in 1999 I’ve seen Queenstown grow immensely in many areas. Live Music was relegated to Chicos Jam Night, The Jazz Festival and New Year’s Eve, (with Mark Wilson sneaking in live music wherever he could). Each band had Ned Webster playing in it, playing a different instrument in each band. There were three shows a year. Showbiz Queenstown’s annual show, Queenstown Shakespeare with a show in the Queenstown Gardens and Starry Eyed, (a show that had locals performing as a famous singer).

Today we are blessed with many bands in town and a vibrant live music scene (despite Covid-19). We have multiple professional shows during the year and Ned Webster playing in every band, a different instrument in every band.

I remember when Frankton Road was a 100km speed zone.

I remember when New World opened and suddenly you didn’t need to do a month’s worth of shopping in Invercargill anymore.

I remember the Bottle House on Frankton Road.

Even before moving here I remember coming to Queenstown in 1987 and watching the movie with Billy T James and Ned Beatty in, Kiwi Magic, and I fell in love with this place…and the helicopter ride below the Skyline Gondola.

I remember my first Shotover Jet ride, my First K-Jet ride, my first bungy jump (and second – forth). I fondly remember when Eichardt’s was a pub, McNeill’s brewed amazing beer and Fergburger was literally a hole in the wall.

All of this to say:

I must be old now.

As amazing as these memories are, it’s the people that make Queenstown AWESOME.

People who raise money for amazing causes, people who give their time and effort to others. The people who entertain, play, serve, cook, clean, and make Queenstown the way it is. A place that welcomes anyone, of any culture, colour, race, and even Australians (we love you by the way, you’re like the cousin that only we are allowed to harass because you’re family).

The people whose livelihoods were dying and yet still gave to others, still sponsored things, still thought of others before themselves. This is the real reason I love Queenstown. The reason why people come for six months and stay for six years. The reason why we are able to raise a lot of money for charities and causes.

It reminds me of a Maori expression, “He Aha te mea nui o te ao He Tangata He Tangata He Tangata”.

What’s the most important thing in the world? It is the people, the people, the people.

So go and tell your people, what they mean to you.

Stay safe

Be Kind

Shaun

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